MQ Installation MQ_yes MQLT_yes MQLib_yes

Midi Quest and MIDI Interfaces

If you are reading this manual in page order then you have just finished reading about correctly configuring Midi Quest so it can communicate with the MIDI hardware. The previous section dealt with MIDI interfaces in general but on this page, we wish to make some specific suggestions regarding the MIDI interfaces to use with Midi Quest or more specifically, those not to use.

Midi Quest can connect to and use multiple MIDI interfaces each with multiple MIDI ports by attaching a USB hub to the iPad.

Midi Quest will stress your MIDI hardware probably more than any other iPad application. The reason is that the other MIDI apps you use send small 2 and 3 byte MIDI messages out to your hardware. Midi Quest, depending on your MIDI hardware, will send single SysEx messages up to 1MB in length. As a result, there is no guarantee that an inexpensive MIDI interface that works well with your other MIDI apps is going to work well with Midi Quest.

As has been discussed previously, if Midi Quest is not receiving SysEx. The problem is usually a result of the MIDI hardware not working correctly. (For a full discussion see Midi Quest and MIDI Communications)

For this reason, Sound Quest recommends that you choose and use name brand MIDI interfaces: M-Audio, Roland, and MOTU that are iPad compatible. If you are having difficulty establishing communications between Midi Quest and your MIDI hardware, one of the first things Sound Quest will ask is what MIDI interface you are using. If you aren't using one of these, it is likely that we will ask you to try one.

It is highly recommended that inexpensive Chinese MIDI interfaces not be used with Midi Quest. They are the most frequent cause of communications problems between Midi Quest and MIDI hardware.


MIDI Interfaces and USB Power

While it is rare, it is possible for any MIDI interface that draws current directly from the iPad's USB port (instead of having its own dedicated power supply) to be under powered. Simple MIDI interfaces generally require a minimum of 500mA to run properly. Some USB ports will provide less current that this. In these circumstances, the under powered MIDI interface is usually able to receive standard MIDI events. However, receiving SysEx requires more current and this can result in a failure to correctly receive data. If a name brand USB MIDI interface is having difficulty receiving larger SysEx dumps, try connecting the interface to a powered USB hub instead of directly to the iPad. This may solve the problem.


Network/Wifi MIDI

CoreMIDI supports transfer of MIDI and SysEx over a network so Midi Quest can connect to MIDI interfaces attached to a Mac. The Mac and iPad must be connected to the same network.

To make a connection, begin by assigning an instrument's MIDI ports to "Network Session 1". On the Mac, open Audio MIDI Setup (in the Utilities folder) and double click on the Network icon to open the "MIDI Network Setup" window. Under "My Sessions", select "Session 1". The iPad should be listed in the "Directory" list. Select it and press the "Connect" button. When the connection is made, the iPad is listed in "Participants". Finally, in the lower right, assign "Live Routings" to the MIDI ports connected to the instrument that Midi Quest is to communicate with. Midi Quest on the iPad is now able to communicate with a MIDI device connected to a Macintosh.

It is important to note that Apple's implementation of CoreMIDI and network connections only allows for one MIDI device to be connected to the iPad via the network. For multiple MIDI port support, the MIDI interfaces must be connected directly to the iPad or software such as StudioMux/MIDIMux can be used as discussed below.


Bluetooth MIDI

In order to avoid direct, hardwired connections between the iPad and MIDI hardware, Midi Quest also supports Bluetooth MIDI. Bluetooth MIDI interfaces transfer MIDI and SysEx information between the iPad and instrument using bluetooth communications instead of a hardwired connection. In every other way, MIDI behaves the same way as a hardwired connection. Bluetooth MIDI interfaces are available from a number of manufacturers including Yamaha.

Bluetooth support must be specifically activated by an app to enable it. If Bluetooth MIDI isn't already running, it can be activated in Midi Quest by following these steps. Tap the global button on the button bar then tap the "Configure Bluetooth MIDI" button. Perform any necessary configuration and close the dialog.


Using Mac or Windows MIDI interfaces

It is possible for the iPad to control and use MIDI interfaces attached to a Mac or Windows system. To do so requires that the iPad be physically connected to the Mac or Windows computer. Install the midimux app on the iPad and StudioMux application on the computer and follow the application's manual for connection instructions. The software applications allow for transfer MIDI data between iPad applications and MIDI hardware attached to a computer.


MIDI Interfaces with Known Issues

Following is a list of MIDI interfaces that claim iPad compatibility but are known to have operational difficulty with Midi Quest.


IK Multimedia

iRig MIDI 2

The iRig MIDI 2 interface when tested with an iPad (July, 2018) produced duplicates of all incoming SysEx messages. This breaks Midi Quest operation and communication timing for many instruments and, as a result, this interface shouldn't be used with the program. Please note, the hardware may not operate this way with Mac or Windows systems and may be a valid choice. In addition, it should be possible to use this interface with Midi Quest's auto dump recognition functionality, however, these options are not able to receive all of the SysEx that Midi Quest supports.



mio interfaces

mio interfaces have been known to have issues handling large SysEx dumps. It is our understanding the installing firmware 2.04 or higher will address these issues.